Tag Archives: google


Bookmarks for November 29th through November 30th

These are my links for November 29th through November 30th:


Bookmarks for November 24th through November 25th

These are my links for November 24th through November 25th:


Playing with the Google API — part 2

A short status update:

Ⅰ have been playing quite a bit with that “other” webpage Rhein-Neckar-Tango, adding somne nifty google maps as well as embedding google calendar data inside the interactive map-bubbles. Fun and hard work for someone as unfamiliar with PHP and JavaScript as Ⅰ am. Long live the web and it’s countless samples, articles and forums/usenet/googlegroups.

A short resumé what worked and what did not:

  • getting GoogleMaps to work is a pain, unless you use a nice php API like the GoogleMapAPI. It may be dated from 2005 (?) but it works like a charm
  • Adding my locations via a MySQL database which stores stuff like lat and lon, as well as other meta data like a pretty formatted name string, links and other stuff that Ⅰ like to use on the web page — and you have one huge power horse working. This is real fun!
  • But Ⅰ also wanted to display event dates within gmap. And since all my event data is stored in google calendar, more power was in reach, but not quite. Using google’s ZendApi for gcal was not something Ⅰ had much luck with.
    • It started with the fact that Ⅰ needed to use cUrl instead of socket SSL to get the gcal data — requiring some hacking of the Zend stuff. Not much documentation at google, but more via google ;)
    • Another great turn off: the Zend stuff might be useful or powerful, but the documentation is not my kind of tech literature.
    • Solution use the API from the URL side. Queries and other options are awesome. And what gcal does: it returns an ATOM feed. Perfect, not?
  • Ah, the simplicity of MagpieRSS, built into WordPress. It could have saved my day, but no:
    • The version in WordPress is outdated.
    • The available current version of MagpieRSS is also outdated — it doesn’t support all the tags in ATOM-gcal-feeds. Luckily someone offers a hack out there, just search for “MagpieRSS enclosures”. Still, no way to get this stuff running and especially parsing the start dates from gcal events. Speaking of which: it is great that gcal treats recurring events in a special way, but if you don’t pay attention you will never see a start date for those events!
    • Solution: SimplePie. Like a charm. Just don’t take every bit of sample code in the documentation for pure truth… ;)

So far it has taken me quite some time, was much fun and more is to come…


Playing with the GoogleMaps API

You all know google and its wonderful GoogleMaps. There are many really cool things you can do with it; just visit google maps and check out the custom map overlays people are doing. However, if you want to embed a certain google map (one of your “my maps”) — you are out of luck, big time.

Ⅰ stumbled across (or better, read about it shortly after we started the Tango 2.0 googlegroup) Peter Forret’s post on a web tool to embed google maps or also kml’s hosted, e.g. at maps.google.com. However, not all was well at that point, since the embedded map wasn’t centered where Ⅰ wanted it to be centered. And that makes it a bit useless (Ⅰ suspect some stupidity on my side or sluggish coding on Peter’s side for this). However, as this is the blogosphere, one of the comments was very cool and helpful: there is another web tool out there for embedding a kml on another website: http://www.dr2ooo.com/tools/maps/. Great, and much more versatile than Peter’s — another reason why the web is cool, as well as proof of the fact that the wheel does indeed get re-invented often. But nowadays you find out more easily about it. ;)

All was well. (don’t want to spoiler anyone, but those three words are the end of the Harry Potter Saga. Yep, and watch out for a very special effecty last movie, the book just stinks of it.) Check out the current version of my embedded google map on http://www.rhein-neckar-tango.de/milonga-karte. Nice enough, or is it?

Back to Tango 2.0: another member of the group, Peter Eyckerman, who has a great web 2.0 tango web page for Belgium.

And Ⅰ realized: there is much more you can do with google maps than just embed. And, this being the web, Ⅰ could just copy what he did — or do it myself.

DIY it is, then. :)

The next post will talk about some of the details, detours and results!


Getting Google\’s Firefox Bookmark Sync to Work

This article sounds helpful. But now that Ⅰ have looked into my firefox directory Ⅰ have found 100MB of log files of this google browser synch extension… is that necessary?